The Global Network Initiative is pleased to announce that Bolo Bhi, a free expression organization based in Karachi, Pakistan, is joining GNI. An advocacy, policy, and research organization, Bolo Bhi worked together with GNI and a number of Pakistani and international organizations to help block the Government of Pakistan’s procurement of a massive Internet filtering system, and continues to advocate for free expression and privacy rights in Pakistan;
“We welcome Bolo Bhi’s membership at an important moment for Pakistan,” said GNI Executive Director Susan Morgan. “From cellular network shutdowns to ongoing concerns about blocking and filtering, Pakistan faces multiple free expression and privacy challenges that require a collective response from civil society and the private sector.”
On behalf of Bolo Bhi, Directors Farieha Aziz and Sana Saleem said: “”We are thrilled to become a part of GNI. A participatory approach that involves all stakeholders is key to open access, and being part of a global coalition will be incredibly helpful to our work for digital rights in Pakistan.”
Bolo Bhi means ‘Speak up,’ in Urdu. It is a not-for-profit geared towards advocacy, policy and research in the areas of Internet access, government transparency, legislation, digital security, privacy, gender rights and empowerment. Through its efforts, Bolo Bhi aims to bridge the gap between rights advocates, policy makers, media and citizens in order to chart a way forward and resolve issues through consensus.
“With the welcome addition of Bolo Bhi, GNI continues to diversify its network of participants,” said GNI Board member Rebecca MacKinnon. “In their advocacy in Pakistan, Bolo Bhi has made the important connection between censorship and matters of accountable democratic governance. We look forward to working with them and a broad array of Pakistani voices on these issues.”